tedster - 9:18 pm on Dec 5, 2010 (gmt 0)
For clarity's sake in this discussion - how about we use the word "click-back" instead of "bounce rate" for the #5 point. That will keep any Google Analytics out of the discussion, and Iknow that's not what you were talking about.
I wonder if any search engine dares to use click-backs as a very strong signal. It's common for me to do that on some searches because I'm comparing results and I want to see more than one, not because the first result wasn't relevant. Comparison shoppers do that a lot, as well as researchers.
From my point of view which admittedly does not have access to all of Google's data, I agree that their long war on paid links has been ill-conceived and done more to hurt than help. At the same time, I do think that Google is doing a lot to develop alternate signals, especially in the area of social media and the social graph altogether.
As one member observed recently, it's beginning to look like WHO clicks on your links is becoming important, in addition to the raw number of visitors.